Tributes have flooded in to the Observer since the death of local hero Sir Patrick Moore yesterday (December 9).
Here are just some of the fond memories of Patrick people have shared:
“Patrick was the last of a lost generation, a true gentleman, the most generous in nature that I ever knew, and an inspiration to thousands in his personal life, and to millions through his 50 years of unique broadcasting. Patrick is irreplaceable. There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one.”
Queen guitarist Brian May
“Despite not being in the best of health, I remember him participating in the two rallies to Save St Richard’s Hospital. He attended in a wheelchair, and when asked why he was supporting the campaign, he left nobody in any doubt as to why services at the hospital should not be cut. The word ‘legend’ is often abused these days, but in the case of Sir Patrick, it remains wholly justified.”
Observer columnist Duncan Barkes
“RIP Patrick Moore - you taught me to look up x.”
Comedian Sue Perkins
“I went to see him only a few hours before he died. I knew the end was coming soon but did not think it was going to be that soon. We are pretty devastated. His contribution to astronomy is unbelievable, it is simply unquantifiable. He was an enormous support to us at the planetarium from the very beginning. He encouraged us and helped us with fundraising. His influence on the subject of astronomy, worldwide, is unquantifiable.”
Dr John Mason MBE, the founder of South Downs Planetarium, in Chichester. He was with him at his home, Farthings, yesterday.
“I used to do picture framing and I used to do quite a bit of work for him. Unfortunately I had the dubious honour of throwing him out of my shop. He could be quite outspoken and I once told him to get out. He had the good grace to come back a little while later and apologise. We parted as friends. I can picture him in the village now on his wobbly old bike. It’s very sad. He was an institution.”
Councillor John Connor, who represents Selsey on Chichester District Council
“He was passionate, he was dedicated and had an unselfish love of astronomy and he passed that on to everybody who knew him and he came across. He was a difficult person personally to deal with on many occasions, he was sometimes awkward, truculent, stubborn but that was Patrick, that was part of his remarkable personality which so many people came to enjoy and love. I think many people realised he was a unique person.”
Former BBC science correspondent and fellow astronomer Dr David Whitehouse
“I remember him speaking to 150 junior school pupils in the hall at Seal Primary School and squirming a little as he verbally tore into any individual he thought was not paying attention, and I can clearly recollect being told, over a cup of tea in the staff room what was wrong with young people and school’s today. A great colourful local character, who sadly we seem to have lost the mould for replicating.”
Ray Carter, of the Chichester Rotary Club
“I met him many years ago. It must have been back in 1978 when I attended the Futcher School in Portsmouth. I remember a few of us went to his house and he spoke to all of us and showed us around his home and particularly his telescopes (I remember seeing his old bike too). It was such a memorable day which I shall never forget. He was such a lovely man.”
“Very sad news about Sir Patrick. Helped inspire my love of astronomy. I will miss him!”
Professor Brian Cox, who presents a number of science programmes for the BBC
Send your memories of Sir Patrick into the Observer by email firstname.lastname@example.org.